Verkeederkill Falls Photo by Steve Aaron
What We Protect

Land for Clean Water

Image Credit: Steve Aaron

It’s a fact that pristine, forested headwaters are a natural filter for the clean drinking water we all need to survive.

Our work to protect the land around watersheds, rivers, lakes, and streams helps ensure reliable supplies of clean drinking water. Wise community planning stems pollution and stormwater runoff and safeguards our water supplies.

Monkman Clear Water Image Credit: Jerry Monkman

Land for clean water

No matter where you live, it’s likely that land conservation positively impacts your drinking water and keeps it available for future generations.

For example: more than half of U.S. drinking water originates in forests, where a single large tree can capture and filter up to 36,500 gallons of water per year.

Free-flowing waters, world-class fisheries and riverfront parks--not to mention clean drinking water for small businesses such as breweries--are some of the other benefits of our land protection work.

Our impact

Examples of our efforts to ensure reliable supplies of clean drinking water include:

  • Our conservation of 151,000 acres of undeveloped land in New York, which has a positive impact on surface and groundwater protection.
  • Our conservation of watershed lands in the Catskills, which supplies the "champagne of public drinking water" to New York City.
  • Our work as part of the Sebago Clean Waters coalition, a groundbreaking consortium that aims to protect the Sebago Lake watershed -- source of drinking water for 1 in 5 Mainers and also the most-threatened major US watershed, according to the US Forest Service.
  • Our Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund, which is helping over 15 million people who rely on the Delaware River Basin for their drinking water.

What You Can Do

Donate to support OSI’s work

Become a part of our mission to safeguard at-risk places through your tax-deductible gift.


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